UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT
MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE PETITION
In re Appeal of U.S. Government
against William Thomas, Petitioner,
FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS
IN FORMA PAUPERIS
Comes now William Thomas, Petitioner in the above entitled
action, to move this Court to issue a Writ of Mandamus.
On August 3, 1987 I attempted to file a Petition For Writ
of Mandamus. I believe that, in the interests of justice, it is
necessary for the Circuit Court to resolve the issues raised by
the petition for mandamus preliminarily to addressing any of the
issues appellant has essayed to make in USA v. Thomas,
D.C. App. No. 87-3043.
Unexperienced in the methods of litigation, initially I
instinctively framed a document entitled Appellee William Thomas'
Opposition To Appellant's Motion For Summary Reversal And Motion
For Summary Affirmance. After completing that document it occured
to me that appellant's Motion was simply a phantasmagorical attempt
on the part of the U.S. Attorney to utilize the Circuit Court
as a forum in which to argue issues which had been fully disposed
of in the District Court.
On August 3, 1987, acting pro se, I attempted to
file a Notice of Intent and a Petition For Writ Of Mandamus with
the Clerk of the Court of Appeals under the heading and numbers
of USA v. Thomas.
I believe that the issues posited in the petition for Mandamus
should proceed any consideration of the Government's Motion For
Citing General Rules of the United States Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia, Rule 7(j)(1), Ms. Johnson of the
Appellate Court Clerk's Office stated that a petition for a Writ
of Mandamus could not be filed in the pending appeal of USA
v. Thomas, but that such a petition had to be filed as a separate
matter. At that time Ms. Johnson refused to file the aforementioned
Because the date for a response to appellant's Motion For
Summary Reversal fell due on August 3, 1987, and because of Ms.
Johnson's refusal to file my Petition For Writ Of Mandamus, I
was forced to file my Opposition To Appellant's Motion For Summary
Reversal lest appellant's motion go unopposed within the time
limits set by the Rules of this Court.
I think that it is not unprecedented for courts to allow
a mandamus to be piggybacked on an existing action. Unfortunately,
due to the preceived urgency of filing for mandamus in as timely
a fashion as possible, I have been unable to do the extensive
research which might have enabled me to direct the Court's attention
to a specific decision in support of this theory.
Under the principle of equal protection, and numerous precedents
testifying to a long tradition of judicial tolerance toward the
financally disadvantaged unschooled supplicant at bar, I believe
that the Clerk's Office should not have refused to file my Motions,
but should have realized that pro se pleadings must be liberally
construed to avoid injustice, and assisted me in effecting the
filing of those Motions. SEE, e.g. Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519 (1972): Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817; Rich
v. Zitney, 644 F.2d 41: see also, Sills v. Bureau of Prisons
My position is that the Motion For Summary Reversal represents
a legal void, and that I have been prejudiced in, essentially
being forced into filing an opposition to a motion which does
not merit any reply, and that the Clerk's Office should have given
assistance in the prior filing of a petition for mandamus, which
seemed to me is the proper course of action under the circumstances.
Therefore I request this Court to entertain and resolve
this petition for Writ of Mandamus before entertaining or resolving
any other matters on the appeal in USA v. Thomas, despite
the fact that an Opposition to Appellant's Motion was filed prior
to the filing of the petition for Mandamus.
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I, William Thomas, hereby certify that, this 4th day of
August, 1987, I served a copy of the foregoing Petition of Writ
of Mandamus, and Declaration in Support of Motion to proceed in
forma pauperis, by hand delivering them to the Office of the Clerk
of the U.S. District Court and requesting that it be placed in
the U.S. Attorney's box for Mr. John D. Bates.
William Thomas, petitioner, pro se
1440 N Street NW #410
Washington, DC 20005